Author: Stuart Barker Posted: 27 Aug 2015
The original and best one-make race series has been revived as a special support race at this year's British Grand Prix. The Bennetts Yamaha Pro-Am Challenge will see 24 riders - many of them the original stars of the 1980s series - lining up to bash fairings and tangle elbows on identical Yamaha RD250LCs at Silverstone on August 30. This will be the first Pro-Am race in 31 years and over the next three weeks we'll be profiling every rider on the grid to find out what they achieved in their racing careers, what they've gone on to do since, and why they accepted the challenge to dust down their leathers and race in the wildest race series ever held just one last time.
Rider: Paul Tinker
Paul Tinker was a top-flight 250 and 350cc racer in the 1980s and spent his career battling with the likes of Niall Mackenzie, Alan Carter and Donnie McLeod. He won the Startrack 350 championship in 1982 and finished runner-up to McLeod in the Startrack 250cc British Championship in 1983.
In that same year, Tinker contested the Yamaha Pro-Am Challenge and was a regular front runner, eventually finishing in fifth place overall. Tinker also had some outings for the factory Armstrong team that was responsible for launching Niall Mackenzie and Donnie McLeod onto the Grand Prix scene. He also competed in the Isle of Man TT between 1983 and 1985, taking in six races in all and enjoying a best finish of sixth place on an Armstrong in the 1984 Junior race.
One of Tinker's main rivals in the 250cc and 350cc classes was Steve Tonkin which gave rise to the press dubbing their scraps 'the Tink and Tonk battles!'